0619 shack
People enjoy the warm fine weather besides the sea on March 26, 2012 in Bournemouth, England. - 

Jeremy Hobson: This might be a hard story for you to hear if your house has lost value in the last few years. But there are some places where the housing market is still pretty overheated -- like a small corner of England, where a tiny beach shack just sold for $270,000.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: British beaches are not what you’d call stunning -- more hard pebbles than silky white sand. Often they’re whipped by a stiff wind from the Channel. And so far this summer, lashed with rain. That’s why in some places you need a hut so you don’t get pneumonia.

But $270,000 for one that has no running hot water or plumbing? Property expert William Green is staggered.

William Green: It’s an extraordinary amount of money. If you think that in some parts of the country you could buy a three, four -- possibly a five bedroom family house -- for what is essentially, when you strip it down, is a wooden shack.

But the company that sold the hut described it as “plush” and -- measuring 18 feet by 10 feet -- “spacious." A clue to the record price may lie in the stormy financial markets. As one London analyst said today: “the rich just don’t know where to put their money anymore… they might as well put it in a beach hut.”

I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.